How many languages does God speak?

Question
How many languages does God speak? Will we all speak one language in heaven?
Answer
Yes! God knows all of them — every language imaginable and even unimaginable. He is all-knowing (omniscient) and so knows every language in existence and even those that could still come to pass such as another human or computer language. And, by the way, prayer itself is the language of God. It can be in any language too.

God's glory, knowledge, and understanding exceeds human language. He hears and understands the “groanings" of his entire creation (Rom. 8:19-22). He understands the roar of the lion and the meow of a kitten. Psalm 150:6 says, "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!" This encompasses God's entire creation, doesn't it? The psalmist is raptured in ecstasy when he recalls all creation praising God. Look at what he wrote:

Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!

Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded and they were created.

And he established them forever and ever;
he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,

fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind
fulfilling his word!

Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!

Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!
(Psa. 148:3-10).

Surely God knows and understands the language of his creation! Think about it. He cursed the snake in the Garden of Eden in a language that the serpent understood (Gen. 3:14-15). And later God didn't just instruct Noah to go out and round up the animals for their journey. He just told Noah to bring them into the ark (Gen. 6:19). In other words, he was to simply receive them because the Captain of the seas (God) had already given them their boarding pass (i.e., election. See below). When it was nearing the time for the flood to begin, the text says the animals "came to Noah and entered the ark" (Gen. 7:9) which implies that God had somehow drawn the animals to the ark. Another example of God communicating with animals is seen in the experience of the prophet Elijah when he fled from King Ahab. We recall that he went to an area east of the Jordan River where God commanded ravens to bring him food while he was there. And they did (1 Kings 17:4-6). So we can say animals have a unique awareness of spiritual reality too. They can even see angels (cf. Num. 22:23, 25, 27, 30).

The Language of Heaven?

In the day of days at the second coming, all things will be made new (Rev. 21:1-8). Will we all speak one language? The Bible doesn’t directly answer this question; however, Holy Scripture does guide us when it says: "And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation’" (Rev. 5:9; 7:9). So, it appears that numerous peoples from various nations and tribes who speak a multitude of languages are the elect of God (i.e., purchased with Christ's blood). This multitude will dwell forever and ever in the new heavens and new earth. They will communicate and relate to one another. I won’t be surprised if we even speak with animals there.

But is it necessary for all to speak one language? Following the creation of Adam and Eve, they and God all appear to have spoken the same language (Gen. 2:16-18; 3:9-13, 16-19). After the re-creation in Noah's time, "the whole earth had one language and the same words" (Gen. 11:1). However, with the re-creation in the Spirit's time, the day of Pentecost, believers "were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them," and they were in "bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken" (Acts 2:4, 6, 7-12). So, my answer is a resounding, “Maybe yes, or maybe no.” But one thing I'm absolutely confident of, all the saints will communicate both with God and one another in a completely understandable, unifying, fitting, and orderly way, which of course is consistent with the language of the Spirit (cf. 1 Cor. 14:40; cf. 1 Cor. 13:1-13).

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Can your briefly explain election in Romans 8:29-30?

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).